Posts Tagged ‘denomination’
who/what is enGAGE
a bunch of people who believe in and are aiming to be:
 Fully devoted Followers of Christ
 Growing in Community
 Giving Generously
 Witnessing Unashamedly
 Worshipping Passionately
 Serving Purposefully
The name enGAGE reminds us that church is not that meeting that takes place on a Sunday but it is a body of believers and the four focus points of enGAGE are to:
Engage with God – Father, Son and Holy Spirit
Engage with the Bible – reading, knowing and doing
Engage with each other – the community of believers, building and living in authentic relationship with each other
Engage with society – people outside of the church, showing them God’s love and grace and pointing them to Him.
(from the enGAGE website)
why the capital GAGE in enGAGE?
American spelling of gauge…as in to measure…so the name reminds us that “we are constantly needing to Gauge/measure where we are in life compared to where we should be and continually trying to narrow that gap”…we should constantly be measuring ourselves against Joshua Davidson, cos as his followers we are supposed to be trying to be more and more like him daily. “This is a journey we are on, together in community”.
(quotations from website).
what sets us apart?
the “broken, but beautiful bride”
Brett loves the saying “Jesus is coming back for his bride, not a harem”. There is no such thing as Churches, it’s all one Church. Anyway, he’s really passionate about bringing together the bride…and he’s somehow managed to rub off that passion on to our congregation. We are all about bringing together the whole church, not just our denomination. We love doing the stuff with other congregations in Stell/Cape Town/Somer Set West…like worship events and camps and stuff like that where we bring together the whole church and just celebrate and rejoice and be the bride together.
We have come across opposition of course, as Jon Acuff said, “only ordinary things ever get full consensus from people. Doing something extraordinary should never make complete sense to everyone in your life”, but we are slowly building bridges, maybe not as the congregation per se, but as individuals from our congregation who see the need to fellowship with other followers outside our little circle…the church is being A Church!
one of the dudes from our church once said that the thing that sets us apart is that we are the “earthy church”…meaning we are down-to-earth. Vineyard (the international denomination one) has a thing against titles…i mean we have pastors and leadership people but we don’t have titles for them like deacons and bishops etc…we are all members of the church and each member is called to take part and minister and lead and stuff.
for instance we encourage people to share verses or messages or whatever that they feel God is laying on their hearts during worship or whatever and as Brett often says, we are all part of the priesthood so therefore we should all be praying for each other, laying hands on each other, baptising each other, ministering to each other, etc.
In fact, during the preaches there’s often inside jokes and back-chatting and adding on and questionning and aswering each other…interesting services I tell you.
we are also very much about being real…like really real…like confess your sins to each other real…from the pulpit if you feel it’s necessary (and by pulpit I mean the stool that Brett sits on during the preach…hee hee). We hang out together a lot…like outside of church…so it goes without saying that we will turn to each other for accountability and prayer and holding-each-other-up-ness, so it’s very important that we are real with each other and talk to each other and share real stuff.
we believe Christ calls you as you are…not a fake, seemingly perfect version of you…but the raw, broken, failed you. Come to the cross broken – no dressing up, no band-aids – he can’t heal you if you pretend you don’t need healing.
why i love my church
we believe in prayer
there’s been a couple of times where i’ve been in the car with friends and someone tells us of a need or prayer request or whatever and we just pull the car off to the side and pray for them and minister to them right there and then.
one of my youth peoples got stabbed this past week and he came through to church on sunday evening so at the end of the service a bunch of us gathered around him to pray for healing
we believe in living out the stuff
a friend was telling us of financial troubles and another friend said “well we’ll keep you in prayer, but in the meantime is there anything we can help with practically right now?”
we read a book in our cell about getting out of the pews and actually doing stuff which led to things like starting up “kinetic love” – an outreach group which also started up the 24-7 prayer room – and selling of hotdogs to the homeless…
we are a super funny bunch of crazies
some of my favorite enGAGE quotes:
“i don’t want to be controlled by my scarves”
“shut up christian and go read your bible”
“every time i have a conversation with a girl i think she’s either going to laugh or fall in love with me”
one last thing for those who live in Stellies
wednesday nights 9:30 pm we meet in the prayer room (Neelsie, room T-29 i think, 4th floor in between the loos and TBT and across from the habitat for humanity Shack) and we have a time of prayer then we go out onto the streets and talk to/pray for/minister to people we meet. Great time of kingdom-come type stuff…please join us if you can/want to.
speaking of prayer room…for those who haven’t been there…it’s a room dedicated to 24-7 prayer…it’s open all the time and you can just pop in there and say a prayer if you wanted to.
This one is super long so I understand if you don’t read it all. Although I probably won’t blog again for another week so you can read it piece by piece over a week.
Ok, so after 12 years of being a Christian and successfully avoiding the topic of fasting (except world vision’s 30 hr famine which I did 3 years), it caught up with me this year – big time. I couldn’t go anywhere without someone talking about it. So I tried fasting for a day and it was good. Then I tried it for 3 days, and failed the second day. Then this (really cool) chick from church named Lindri (fka Isa Bella) suggested we do it together cos she was also struggling to do it alone – so we tried it and yay, 3 days with no solid food (Friday, Saturday, Sunday – last meal Thursday night, broke the fast on Monday morn). Just living on water, juice, coffee, tea, and coke. I’m so sick of water right now – I don’t want to ever see it again – at least until I go on my next fast. Yep, I’ve decided to make a semi-routine thing, instead of a once-off thing. I haven’t decided though on how often its gonna happen. But yea, it was definitely good. The reason I mention it is because Monday I was so out of it. I couldn’t eat cos my body didn’t like food anymore (yea, just after 3 days – didn’t think it was possible either) and I was super drained and could barely concentrate – so yea that’s the background to the state of my brain when I wrote the email to Brett (a little later).
Next topic I need to deal with: baptism. What is it all about? Why do people do it? Do I need to do it? FYI: I was baptised as a kid, when I was 5 but to tell the truth it meant nothing to me. It was something you did because people who go to church did it. I don’t even think my parents knew what it was about.
I sent the following email to the youth pastor of vineyard – there was a baptism on Sunday so he was talking about it on Sunday evening so naturally I had a few questions on it, so here it is:
I’m pretty sure this email will not make sense cos as I’m writing it the only parts of my brain that are awake are the ones controlling the breathing and the muscles that keep the eyes open – everything else has pretty much shut down. So excuse my…stupid-ness.
So on the topic of baptism: I know the Bible says we should get baptized (the great commission, don’t know if it says so anywhere else) but it doesn’t say when does it? For instance if you were baptized as a kid (infant baptism) why do you have to get baptized again? I also don’t quite get why Jesus got baptized. Oh and on the great commission part, you know how John said that he baptizes with water but someone will come after him who will baptize with the holy spirit (I think – not during the great commission but I think it was when he started being John the baptist), well someone (don’t remember who) told me that since we are baptized with the holy spirit then we don’t need to be baptized with water. Not saying I believed them but…thinking…
Maybe I just don’t understand the meaning of baptism. Isn’t it a public display/declaration of your decision to die to self and live to Christ? If so, isn’t the way you live your life public display enough? Oh maybe not cos the way I live my life doesn’t always reflect dying to self and living for Christ.
Maybe what I’m asking is, do I have to be baptized again (or at all actually) and if so why? And if not, why not since the bible says we should –or did it?
Sorry, don’t really know what I’m asking. As I said, I’m brain-dead today.
Anyway, he hasn’t responded yet but if/when he does I’ll update. I decided to do a little study on it while I wait for his response so I reached for my trusty bible, concordance and bible study notes and this is the conclusions I’ve drawn (probably wrong, feel free to add your opinion reader):
The word baptism pops up for the first time in the bible in the new testament starting with John the baptist’s ministry. His ministry was all about repentance, and water baptism was symbolic of cleansing yourself of your sin when you repent – being washed and made clean or as they put it: water baptism symbolises not the removal or dirt from the body but the pledge of a good conscience toward God. John said Jesus would come and baptise with a baptism of the Spirit and fire. Apparently the fire is symbolic of judgement and there was also the tounges of fire when the spirit came down at pentecost (Acts 2), so the prophecy was partly fulfilled at Pentecost when the Spirit came down. Baptism after Jesus (post the resurrection) was symbolic of dying with him, being buried with him, and rising again with him – sharing in his fate, so that we might share in his resurrection and eternityness (yea, I know that’s not a word). So John’s baptism was more preparatory for the “real” baptism (the Spirit and fire one) – although there were some people in Acts (I think) who got the water baptism after the Spirit one.
In sort-of conclusion, what I’m getting is baptism was a way of publicly declaring your faith and that you had repented of your sins and were a follower of the Christ. Anyway, another note put it this way: Baptism is an outward sign of an inward work of Grace.
In real conclusion, I found 4 reasons why Jesus himself was baptised. 1. to identify with humanity; 2. inception of his ministry; 3. to fulfil all righteousness (something about it symbolising consencration – being set apart for God); and 4. as an example to his disciples. The last one tells me that if I’m gonna call myself a follower of Christ then I need to get baptised.
In seriously-totally-real conclusion, I need to get baptised because the Bible tells me I should, and as Brett often says, that should be reason enough for me to do it.
Now the question is when? And also which church? Cos I really think I wanna do it at a river (like John did it), but my home church only does it in a swimming pool, and I think they only do it easter weekend which means yet another year to change my mind, whereas with Vineyard I think they would do it in a river, although the last one was at the beach – but technically I am part of the Nazarene church so maybe I should do it there. But then again baptism has nothing do to with denomination does it? Hmmm…more questions!